McCann Senior Honored With RPI Medal

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Principal Justin Kratz presented the award to Tyler O'Neil.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — When McCann senior Tyler O'Neil graduates he hopes to become an electrical engineer and $60,000 will now help him get the training he'll need.

O'Neil was honored by the School Committee with the Rensselaer Medal - an annually awarded scholarship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute worth at least $15,000 a year.

O'Neil was selected by staff to receive this year's honors because he has excelled in his math and science courses.

"He's been in the highest level math course that we offer every year and he is currently in the AP calculus course. In science, he's been in all honors courses since his freshman year and a member of the National Honor Society, which is no surprise with the grades he has," Principal Justin Kratz said.

Kratz characterized O'Neil has having a "quiet presence" that has grown from a student that few classmates knew to one they all respect during his time at McCann Technical School.

"In four years this young man has grown tremendously," he said. "Now everyone knows Tyler in a good way and he has really stepped up as a leader."

O'Neil graciously thanked his teachers and Superintendent James Brosnan for the honor. After the ceremony, he recalled how excited he was to hear that he won the award after a nerve racking interview with a staff committee.

School Committee member James Gazzaniga called the award a "milestone" but reminded O'Neil that the journey is just beginning.

"It's no accident that you are here tonight receiving this award," Gazzaniga said and praised O'Neil's parents.

Now O'Neil is hoping he does just as well in the application process to be accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to use that scholarship and be one step closer to his final goal.

The $15,000 per year is guaranteed to every medalist who is accepted into the school. Each participating school chooses one candidate annually as a junior. O'Neil was chosen last year but the honor was delayed until Thursday.
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